The hunting seasons for squirrels, doves, rail, gallinule and snipe open Friday, Sept. 1, statewide. Early goose and teal seasons open Sunday, Sept. 3.

Ohio’s outdoor recreation plan

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is laying out a plan that looks at the future of outdoor recreation and wants us to weigh-in on what we want to see.  ODNR developed a draft of its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) after engaging with public and outdoor recreation providers and conducting a statewide survey. The SCORP is a five-year strategic plan that guides state and local investments for developing and managing outdoor recreation and facilities.

“We know people all around the state love to enjoy the great outdoors in different ways,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “This plan gives us a blueprint for the future and allows us to tailor a plan for outdoor recreation that fits the wants and needs of Ohioans.”

The SCORP priorities include advancing the trail network, enhancing existing recreational facilities, emphasizing recreational opportunities and access to waterways, raising awareness about recreation opportunities, and protecting the natural environment. Once complete, it will serve as a reference document for state officials distributing federal and state grants for public park facilities around the state. A draft of the plan can be found at

Let the hunting begin!

Ohio’s unofficial 2023 hunting season opener is Friday, Sept. 1, when it becomes legal to pursue squirrels and several popular migratory bird species, including mourning doves, Viginia and Sora Rail, Gallinules and Wison’s Snipe, statewide. The following Sunday, Sept. 3, the early hunting seasons for Canada geese and teal open.

Conservation Hall of Famers named

Seven Ohioans who have dedicated their lives to the conservation and preservation of Ohio’s natural resources received top honors recently from the ODNR). Family, friends, and state fairgoers watched as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, ODNR Director Mary Mertz, and other ODNR officials inducted seven people into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame and awarded seven others with ODNR’s Cardinal Award.

“This is an outstanding group of dedicated Ohioans who have truly made conservation their life mission,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We are proud to recognize them with these high honors, as we hope their passion and major achievements will inspire future generations to help the state’s natural wonders soar to new heights.”

The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame has a long legacy in the state of Ohio, created in 1966 to celebrate individuals who have made significant contributions to protecting Ohio’s natural resources. The number of people presented with this honor is 193, including this year’s inductees: Denis Case, D’Arcy Patrick Egan, Tom Kashmer, Paul E. Knoop, Jr., Dr. Larry B. Mixon, Sr., Eric Partee, Carolyn Watkins, Dave Apsley, Kristen Beck, Burr Oak Alive!, Lola Lewis, Brenda Metcalf, Preservation Parks of Delaware County, and Senator Tim Schaffer.

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